Residential Options for Senior Citizens
One is commonly referred to as a “senior citizen” once you’ve reached a certain age, which may vary between 55 and 60, or 65 years old in South Africa, “senior citizen” being the most oft-used term of reference for older and more mature persons. During the early 1980s, the term “senior citizen”, was typically used by banks and other financial institutions, which competed for mature persons’ funds by offering those over 60 years of age an additional 5% interest on their fixed-term investments.
This age or stage may also imply that one has already or is about to retire from work, although many seniors still remain actively employed beyond 65, providing that they own their own businesses or the company for which they work doesn’t strictly enforce a retirement (age) policy.
Types of Homes for Seniors
Once your offspring have left the parental nest and retirement draws near, it’s time to plan for your future again – this time as a senior citizen. Some may choose to remain in their existing family home, while others, perhaps the majority of seniors, prefer to downsize, opting for a smaller home.
This may be a more compact cluster in an access-controlled estate, an apartment, or a townhouse, ideally on one internal level – not a duplex – or a simplex without stairs. Irrespective of its type, the optimal home is one that’s specifically designed for senior citizens in a retirement development or estate. When you’re downsizing, it’s important for senior citizens to understand the basic elements of the available options.
Cluster homes are not always smaller than traditional, free-standing houses, but both types of dwellings are stand-alone, freehold properties. The property, on which clusters are built, is usually more compact. Clusters are found in gated estates, which may consist of clusters only, a mixture of cluster and traditional homes, or a combination of houses, apartments, townhouses, and cluster dwellings.
Apartments and Townhouses
Every property owner and tenant in South Africa knows what a townhouse is, but many are confused about the difference between a flat and an apartment. There’s actually no difference nowadays. It’s merely a matter of semantics. “Apartment” was originally the American word for a “flat”, the English and South African equivalent.
Years ago, prior to the enactment of the Sectional Title Act 95 of 1986, and its more recent amendment – the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011 (which came into effect on 7 October 2016), individual flats or apartments were housing units, located in blocks or multi-storey buildings, only available on a rental basis.
Occupants were thus tenants, who weren’t permitted to take title or ownership of their dwelling. The entire block of apartments was owned by one or a group of investors, who derived an income from tenants’ monthly rental payments. Today, occupants of apartments and townhouses may be tenants or owners.
Townhouses are built in rows of three or more units, which share one or two common walls, although their roofs and ceilings are separate. Units may be entirely on one level or of double-storey designs, the latter being less desirable for senior citizens, who may eventually struggle to climb steep stairs.
Featherwood’s Senior Citizen Solutions
Safe and secure, our Featherwood Retirement Estate in Pretoria East offers numerous solutions to senior citizens who wish to downsize to a home in a well-managed, lifestyle retirement community, where beautiful apartments are designed especially for their present social activities, community, and healthcare, as well as future requirements, should you be injured or fall ill and require assisted-living assistance or frail-care facilities.
At Featherwood, there are still apartments on offer – for sale or rental – in the final phase of our popular senior citizens’ estate. Featherwood Retirement Estate’s beautifully landscaped gardens, so typical of sub-tropical Pretoria East, is filled with birdsong and peaceful tranquillity, the perfect surroundings for senior citizens, their relaxed lifestyles, and their sanctuaries – their homes.